On This Day: French Jews given full rights under law

On September 27, 1791, the Loi relative aux Juifs was passed, granting Jews full rights in France. The move was ratified on November 13. 1791.

View of Paris, France and the Eiffel Tower  (photo credit: REUTERS)
View of Paris, France and the Eiffel Tower
(photo credit: REUTERS)

On September 27, 1791, the French National Assembly voted to give the Jewish people of France equal rights under the law. 

Gradual improvement in conditions for Jews was making headway leading up to the vote. In 1785, the poll tax on Jews was abolished, and restrictions on locations of Jewish settlement were abolished. 

However, when the Declaration of the Rights of Man was passed in August of 1789, it was interpreted at the time to not including Jews.

The Loi relative aux Juifs was passed September 27, 1791, proposed by Adrien-Jean-Fracois Duport. The text reads:

"I believe that freedom of worship does not permit any distinction in the political rights of citizens on account of their creed. The question of the political existence of the Jews has been postponed. Still, the Muslims and the men of all sects are admitted to enjoy political rights in France. I demand that the motion for postponement be withdrawn, and a decree passed that the Jews in France enjoy the privileges of full citizens."

STREET AND harbor scenes from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France. (credit: PAYS BASQUE TOURIST OFFICE)STREET AND harbor scenes from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France. (credit: PAYS BASQUE TOURIST OFFICE)

This proposition was accepted with applause. Several attempted to oppose the motion, but the president of the Assembly suggested: "that everyone who spoke against this motion should be called to order because he would be opposing the constitution itself."

Two days later, the National Assembly separated, and on November 13, Louis XVI ratified the law declaring Jewish people French citizens.